The Public Record: Which southeastern Wisconsin companies pay board directors the most?

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett called attention to the growing compensation of board directors in his annual shareholder letter.

“Director compensation has now soared to a level that inevitably makes pay a subconscious factor affecting the behavior of many non-wealthy members,” Buffett noted.

He pointed out that as a director of Portland Gas Light in the 1960s he made $100 annually while directors now making $250,000 to $300,000 “for board meetings consuming a pleasant couple of days six or so times a year” now make three to four times the median annual household income in the U.S.

Buffett did note the work of directors has become more complicated, but also pointed out that directors often don’t have incentives to challenge chief executive officers and company leadership.

“When seeking directors, CEOs don’t look for pit bulls,” Buffett wrote. “It’s the cocker spaniel that gets taken home.”

Among southeastern Wisconsin companies tracked by BizTimes Milwaukee, annual director compensation – comprised of cash and stock – ranges from $28,500 on the low end at Koss Corp., to $415,000 for the highest paid Fiserv Inc. director.

On average, the lowest paid director at the 33 companies with available data makes $181,747 for board service. The average highest paid director makes $251,351 annually.

Below is a list of area companies with the highest director compensations.

Southeastern Wisconsin Public Company Director Compensation

Company

Low

High

Fiserv

285,037

415,037

Enerpac Tool Group

280,008

402,061

Kohl’s Corp.

243,750

394,989

MGIC Investment

263,000

355,000

ManpowerGroup

275,000

345,102

Harley-Davidson

235,000

343,477

Johnson Controls

275,000

330,000

Modine Manufacturing Co.

208,745

318,746

Snap-on Inc.

231,308

300,563

Associated Banc-Corp

195,000

296,500

Manitowoc Company Inc.

100,232

290,187

Rockwell Automation

252,305

288,223

Physicians Realty Trust

160,000

286,169

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

No posts to display